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Take care of that mole problem

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By Dennis Morgeson

I want to let everyone know about a special event going on Tuesday April 26 at 11:30 a.m.  at the Farmers Market at the Depot in Springfield.  We are having our annual Earth Day celebration, complete with a free lunch.  Local children will plant flowers around the market and we will plant and erect a butter bean tent.  There will also be a special tribute to what the day means and how we can all help keep our community cleaner and greener!  I will also be giving away bean seeds for anyone that is interested.  I have an array of seeds left from a class I did earlier in the year so stop by and take a look you might find something you have wanted to try but just never got around to actually ordering the seeds.  Our Earth Day celebration is a collaborative event with extension, New Pioneers for a Sustainable Future, the city and the county, and most importantly local citizen volunteers!
The Washington County Garden Club is gearing up for another fun filled growing season and all members or those just wanting to find out more about the organization are welcome to my Wheelbarrow Class Series on Ornamental Grasses at the Washington County Extension Office at 6 p.m. on April 21.  This class is free to Garden Club Members!  Also, dues will be taken up for the 2011 season, the cost is $10.
We are accepting applications for farmers wanting to join the Farmers Market at the Depot in Springfield.  Anyone interested should contact Kathy Elliott at the Springfield City Hall for an application.  The cost is $25 for the entire growing season.  This allows you to sell your produce during the market hours on Saturday mornings as well as anytime there isn’t a pre-scheduled function at the farmer’s market pavilion.  The opening day for the market is April 30.
With all the rainy and windy weather gardening has slowed down but it is about to speed up again with our frost-free date approaching quickly.  Just a couple more weeks and we can plant all of our favorites outside without fear of frost!  With our recent weather though I have to wonder if rain, wind, and hail might not be more of an issue than frost…shoot that may be more of a problem even now.
Recently I have gotten a lot of questions about moles.  It seems as the weather warmed the moles came back to the surface or some thought they just tunneled over but actually they have been there all along.  In the fall as the weather cools worms and grubs go deeper into the soil and so do the moles (these are their food sources for the most part).  When spring arrives and the soil warms, grub worms return to the surface to feed on roots (mostly grass) and then to pupate and turn into May Beetles, Masked Chafers, or Japanese and June Beetles.  Moles favorite foods are these grubs so it is natural for them to come to the surface as well.  Earth worms come to the surface to eat organic matter and to mate and moles find them tasty as well!
The easiest and safest way to rid yourself of moles is now a poison gummy worm.  You can find these at most lawn and garden departments or farm stores.  The package will tell you to place way more worms in runs than is needed because they basically are in the business to sale worms.  It takes one poison gummy to kill one mole so placing several in one run is not going to make it any more effective at killing one mole if that is all you have.  Now, to see if a run is active, walk part of it down and check it again in a few days, if the run is raised again its active and you should place a poison gummy in the run.  The gummy has an attractant in it moles can’t resist so they come to it, eat it, and presto no more moles!  If you have any questions about moles or any other garden problems, give me a call at 859-336-7741 or “LIKE” us on Facebook at Washington County Horticulture.